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How to Preserve a Candy Portrait 


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How to Preserve a Candy 


Written By: Andrew 



Paintbrush (1) 

Wood or Masonite Panel (1) 

Clear Polyurethane Varnish (1) 

Non-water based Glue (1) 

Left-over Halloween Candy (1) 


Let's say that you were overzealous with your Halloween candy purchases this year (or 
maybe trick-or-treater traffic was down in your neighborhood) and now you have a big bag or 
two of candy that you don't really want to eat. And then let's say that there is someone 
you've been meaning to make a sweet portrait of, like, for instance, Abraham Lincoln. Well, 
then; boy, do I have a project for you. 

I was recently asked to make a portrait of Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin out of Nerds candies. 
In order to make the portrait I had to figure out how to adhere the candy pieces to a panel 
and protect them from moisture which would eventually make the candy deteriorate. Then I 
had a whole bag of Halloween candy that I didn't particularly want to eat, so I made a portrait 

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How to Preserve a Candy Portrait 

of Abraham Lincoln out of it for my apartment. Here is the process I used to adhere and 
preserve the candy so that you can make your own candy portrait with your left-over or 
unwanted Halloween candy. 

Step 1 — How to Preserve a Candy Portrait 

• Design a portrait to make out of your left-over Halloween candy (or find candies that are 
the right color and size to make the portrait). Softer candy containing more moisture will 
deteriorate more quickly than harder candy, so keep this in mind when you pick which 
candy you will use. Make sure that your design will fit properly onto your wood or Masonite 

• You may also want to make sure your panel is the right size and shape to fit into a frame. 
If you are going to frame your portrait, leave room around the edge of it to glue a frame to 
the panel when you are done. 

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How to Preserve a Candy Portrait 

Step 2 

• Seal your wood or Masonite panel 
with polyurethane varnish or an oil- 
based enamel paint to ensure that 
moisture will not be able to 
penetrate the panel and contact the 

Step 3 

• Draw your design onto the panel if 
you wish, then start gluing your 
candies to your panel with a non- 
water based glue. 

• Note: Solvents in your glue may 
blur permanent-marker ink if they 
come into contact with each other. 

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How to Preserve a Candy Portrait 

Step 4 

• After you finish gluing your candy 
to the panel, coat the entire 
exposed surface of your candy 
portrait with clear polyurethane 
varnish. You may want to apply 
more than one coat to make sure 
that the varnish covers the surface 
completely; this will also help the 
candy stick to the panel. 

• Contact with moisture will 
eventually cause candy to 
deteriorate so the purpose of this 
process is to insulate your candy 
from moisture as much as 

Step 5 

• Frame your portrait or glue a frame around it to create a shadowbox and find a place to 
display it! 

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How to Preserve a Candy Portrait 

Andrew Salomone makes artwork about the absurd ways that ideas are communicated through 
popular culture. He is currently teaching a course on contemporary art and the internet at 
Parsons The New School for Design. 

This document was last generated on 2012-11-03 12:49:10 AM. 

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